Penn State Extends James Franklin through 2025; Now, It Is Time to Start Appreciating Him
Rumors swirled throughout the week that James Franklin may be receiving a contract extension after his Penn State Football Team won their 10th game for the third time in four years. Those rumors came true on Friday when Penn State’s Committee on Compensation unanimously approved a new deal for the Penn State Head Football Coach. Although the official terms have not been released to the public just yet, the deal will run through the 2025 season.
This is excellent news for Penn State as they keep one of the best coaches in the country. Here is Franklin’s tweet after his extension went public:
Penn State has had quite a run under James Franklin since 2016. As you can see here, the Nittany Lions have been one of the best programs throughout the country over the last four years.
The “Underappreciated” Coach
That right there is the definition of a model of consistency. But, Senior punter Blake Gillikin has described Coach Franklin as “underappreciated” in recent talks with the media. In my opinion, he is downright disrespected by some in the Penn State fan base and quite honestly, I am sick and tired of it.
James Franklin is one of the best head coaches in the country. And that is not just my opinion. The stats back that up and national writers and analysts say the same exact thing. Bruce Feldman of The Athletic is one College Football writer who certainly understands how great of a coach Franklin is. In an article from before the 2018 season, Feldman had this to say about Franklin.
“… you’re a fool if you don’t think Franklin is one of the 10 best coaches in the sport right now. If I’m ranking the Top 5 coaches in college football right now, Franklin’s one of them.”
You can read the full article here, but a subscription to The Athletic is required.
But, that is just the opinion of one of the most respected College Football writers in the country. Unfortunately, there are some Penn State fans throughout the country who do not see James Franklin as that Top 5 coach. Here are some examples.
Since 2016, Penn State has a record of 41-11, with a winning percentage of 78.8 percent. How many Power 5 conference teams have a better winning percentage than Penn State during that span? Six, just six. Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Wisconsin. What programs around the country have we outperformed during that stretch? LSU, Washington, Michigan, and Notre Dame, just to name a few.
Yes, winning on average ten games a year is very mediocre football. What else would we expect from James Franklin and Penn State?
Yes, I hope Penn State wins the National Championship next year, too. With James Franklin as the Head Coach it is reasonable to say they have a chance every year. But, Penn State has not won a National Title since 1986. Did you run out of patience when Joe Paterno was leading Penn State to an unbeaten season in 1994 and not being named National Champions? Or losing heartbreaking games on the road in 2005 and 2008 as Penn State’s only defeats? If 2020 is finally the time to call it quits, then I am more than happy to have this “fan” find another team to cheer for when they win it all and bash them when they come up just short.
Sir, believe it or not, some bowl projections have Penn State going to the Rose Bowl. THE ROSE BOWL. Is that a mediocre bowl game? Penn State went to the Rose Bowl in 2016 and lost 52-49 in an all-time classic. The team that beat them had the #3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft at QB in Sam Darnold and one of the top wide receivers in the NFL today in Juju Smith-Schuster. Then in 2017, Penn State went to another New Years’ 6 Bowl in the Fiesta Bowl and won it against Washington. That is a pretty good looking participation trophy sitting in the Penn State trophy case.
I am not even sure if this is true and nor do I care enough to look it up. But, how much did this fan miss any of the players that left? I am sure he did not miss them at all. Did he miss Danny Dalton’s 0 catches for 0 yards this year for Boston College? But, I am sure he was on his feet cheering when Lamont Wade was wrecking havoc against Ohio State this year.
Players leave programs and it is not always because of the head coach. Some leave because of playing time. Danny Dalton is a good example of this, as Pat Freiermuth beat him out in 2018. Some players leave because of family matters, as well. But, yes, please blame James Franklin for an 18-22 year old college kid making a grown up decision.
Don’t Hate, Appreciate
Penn State fans: we are so lucky to have James Franklin as the Head Football Coach at Penn State. Ask Vanderbilt how lucky we are. Franklin posted back-to-back 9 win seasons at Vanderbilt before he left for Penn State. AT VANDERBILT. Before Franklin got there, the Commodores went 2-10 in the two seasons prior. And since Franklin left, they are just 27-47 with a winning percentage of 36.5 percent.
I know Penn State fans are grateful for the job Bill O’Brien did in 2012 and 2013 in keeping the program together through sanctions. But, not as many fans are grateful for the job James Franklin has done after O’Brien.
Still dealing with the NCAA sanctions, in 2014, Franklin took the eventual National Champions to double overtime at home and won the Pinstripe Bowl with 65 total scholarship players. According to Franklin, due to injuries and redshirt players, that number got down to 41 during the season. In 2015, he led them to another bowl game despite not having his program back to full scholarship numbers. Then, since 2016, all he has done is win.
- 2016 Big Ten Title
- Rose Bowl Appearance
- Fiesta Bowl Victory
- 3 undefeated seasons at home
- 3 10-win seasons
- 2 11-win seasons
- 2 Top-10 AP Poll finishes
The numbers show that James Franklin is one of the top college football coaches in America. Now, that he is receiving a contract extension to stay at Penn State, it is now time to appreciate just how great of a coach he is.